By HVY Journalists: Asian cryptocurrency exchange Liquid has revealed that it will be making Telegram crypto tokens (“Gram”) available to the public for the first time. Telegram, the Russian-born instant messaging service, was mired in controversy last year when it completely scrapped the public sale of its ICO.
Liquid will list the Gram tokens on their exchange by July 10th, though there’s no word yet on how many tokens are up for sale or what the listing price will be. Telegram’s blockchain, the Telegram Open Network (TON) raised a staggering $1.7 billion in 2018 – all from a handful of private investors.
Telegram Crypto Token Resale Reeks of Elitism
Private investors gulped up the majority of Gram tokens by the close of the ICO in February last year. Gram Asia is the self-proclaimed largest holder of them in the Asiatic region. As TechCrunch reports, Gram Asia has agreed to list an undisclosed amount of tokens via Liquid for the July sale.
ICOs remain in the spotlight as the SEC continues to pressure projects for raising funds publicly without first receiving the watchdog’s consent. It’s important to note, however, that wealthy investors have virtually zero restrictions on such investments, at least compared to mom-and-pop buyers. In other words, ‘accredited’ investor status continues to allow the rich to get richer.
If the SEC wins out in the fight against ICO financing, the future could involve a new form of institutionalized pseudo-Ponzi financing. A few whales will receive securities at highly discounted rates. They then offload them to the public at inflated prices on the back of hype marketing that ICOs are famous for.
What Utility, If Any, Do Telegram Tokens Hold?
Telegram has not yet officially announced the sale of the cryptocurrency tokens via Liquid. This approach is unusual given the popularity of the platform, but it likely does not want to associate itself with a sale that could be construed as an ICO.
The crypto community, in particular, uses Telegram quite heavily. When prodded, Liquid CEO Kayamori explained his view:
Unfortunately, that’s Telegram and how they have operated from the beginning
TechCrunch went on further to explain:
Despite that ominous radio silence, Kayamori assured us that this token listing is above board and very much part of the plan for TON
If public investors aren’t suspicious yet, they should be. Telegram’s approach has been secretive from the get-go. The company has kept the development of its blockchain rather hush-hush in an age calling for more transparency.
Telegram’s vision includes things like in-app payments, file storage, censorship-free browsing, and decentralized applications. Not a single original idea. And all being tackled by other projects. Now, as Grams finally start to hit public crypto exchanges, the selling point appears to be “Just trust us, these tokens are legit.”
Well, they may be, but you sure won’t be getting them at a favorable price. One of blockchain’s fundamental premises is, “Don’t trust, verify.” Oh, how the apple has fallen far from the tree.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, HVY.